Childish Gambino Discusses 'Because the Internet' and the Complexity of Web-era Issues

BY Jabbari WeekesPublished Nov 11, 2013

From TV to music, Childish Gambino (a.k.a. Donald Glover) owes much of both his success and failure to the internet, a topic he's seemingly unafraid to delve into for his forthcoming album, Because the Internet. Seeing both sides of the fence, he believes the sense of community we feel on the web can both help and hinder us.

"Because the internet I'm here, because of the internet we're all here. It's the language of earth," Gambino tells Exclaim! "Everyone keeps saying by this or that year, Mandarin or Spanish will be the most dominant language, but the internet is already a language we are all connected to; even my dad can understand the meme format. But the thing is, there are no rules, which is also the awesome thing."

Gambino explains that while new ideas and opinions can flourish on the internet we've also become so prone to self-editing that we hide under a mask of hypocrisy.

"There's all this nostalgia on Tumblr and stuff, and I think people are afraid to move forward because we're so aware that we're going to look stupid later. I just think we're just scared of being embarrassed or we're afraid to keep moving forward... and now that we have the internet it's easier to [communicate] than ever before, but it's also leaving us really lost and afraid."

But, of course, there's a grey zone; internet visibility makes it hard for bigotry to flourish, which Glover identifies as a good thing.

"Half of the reason I think people aren't fighting the gay movement as much, is because some people understand that one day we'll look back and they don't want to be seen as the bad guys who opposed it. Shit isn't going to go backwards."

Expect Glover to grapple with these complicated issues even more deeply on Because the Internet. It's out December 10 courtesy of Glassnote/Universal Music Canada.

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